How to remove tuner bushings from headstock?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Chrisk-K, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Think carefully before buying cheap sockets. A good socket set is a lifetime tool. That's one kind of tool where cheap usually results in failure sooner or later. Harbor Freight is reasonably priced, but in most cases lower grade. Probably OK as long as you're not doing strenuous work with them...but it's when you're stuck and you need a good socket that it matters.

    To address your question more directly, you can buy sockets individually at pawn shops...I've done that when I needed an odd size, and I usually can find decent quality ones.
  2. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    Bah. I'll hardly need them outside of this task.
  3. Menards has their Tool Shop sockets at pretty reasonable prices. Or the Harbor Freight sockets will do the trick...although I've seen some real junk come from Harbor Freight.
  4. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    Really? You mean a twelve-dollar reciprocating saw won't last a lifetime? Dammit.
  5. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    To each their own. I got a set of S-K Wayne sockets from my dad in 1968 and in using them for 43 years I've worn out one ratchet wrench and cracked one socket...both replaced free, no questions.

    But those sockets have been through at least 10 cars, numerous major and minor repairs, and every household odd job that has come up in that time.

    Using your own tools saves you an incredible amount of money over time - but learning how to use them can be a challenge.
  6. Hi.

    And when You do, and the cheapo socket slips or breaks, good odds are that You bust a knuckle or at least cut your hand.

    Since wrenching and machining all sorts of stuff is my main hobby, and I like playing and my hands in general enough to use only quality tools, I do not recommend buying cheap inferior crappy sockets under any circumstances. Unless You don't own any wrenches to use 'em with that is ;).

  7. selowitch

    selowitch Supporting Member

    Aug 6, 2005
    Rockville MD
    Well, the only sockets I have are for my ratcheting screwdriver!
    Member8675309 likes this.
  8. As the author of the beloved tutorial on the previous page I thought I'd jump back in here. The reason I used sockets was because they were handy, less than two steps from my workbench. You could use short sections of appropriate size dowels and PVC pipe as substitutes for sockets.
    RSBBass likes this.
  9. I needed a Sawzall one day and mine was 60 miles away so I bought one of those flaming orange pieces of junk.

    I have had it replaced over a dozen times now - but a 'lifetime warranty' is their problem - although it costs me gas and time to carry it back over an over.

    The lifetime of the unit is either ONE two-by-four if it's not too hard or two 3/8 bolts if they are made in China.

    I can't get them to take it back to trade it for a hammer - which I am sure would last longer - but no-o-o-o-o! I'm stuck with what amounts to a tool that I cannot use for more than spreading mayonnaise or peanut butter (if it's not chunky style).
    skycruiser likes this.
  10. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Bad luck, SurferJoe! I have one of those and the first thing I did was to cut up an entire fiberglass shower enclosure with it, including chunking it up enough to get it out of the bathroom. Worked like a champ. I guess you take your chances.

    What it boils down to is that you can depend on decent quality tools. You cannot depend on cheap tools. But I understand that if all you think you will ever do with a socket is press a tuning bushing out, you don't need good quality.

    I stopped thinking that way when I was about 14, and have used a lot of tools ever since. I like to work on stuff.
  11. BassBuzzRS


    Oct 18, 2005
    Also worked for me now. Great tip :)
    selowitch likes this.
  12. Wanted to share my experience too.

    I just replaced the Gotoh GB8 from my Japanese Fender Precision with Gotoh GB-640. I also wanted to replace the bushings, but did not use the method suggested by ponticat (did not have the tools and time). I used a drum stick, and of course I regret it. I ruined the finish close to the bushings from the top of headstock, see the picture below.


    However, I succeeded removing the bushings, and out of curiosity, I weighted the old ones with the new ones from the Gotoh GB-640 (the tuners are aluminium, and not steel, like the GB8). They looks the same, and they both weigh 26 grams (all four), so they ARE the same (also, the tuners are from the same manufacturer), so no lighter aluminium bushings, as expected.

    My advice: use the old bushings and do not waste your time replacing them.

    More about the old and new tuners, here: Fender Japan Tuning Machines very stiff
  13. Continuum


    Oct 31, 2005
    LOL I just used a pair of scissors. Jammed and lightly shook the closed pair through the back of the bushing. They slowly slid right out!

    No more hammer and screwdrivers!
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
    MichiBass likes this.
  14. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown

    Feb 16, 2011
    Find you a big pawnshop. They usually have a box full of loose sockets and other small hand tools for less than a dollar. I find good Craftsman and SK sockets in there all the time.
    MichiBass likes this.
  15. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Mar 5, 2013
    South Bend, Indiana
    I've used the hammer-and-socket method successfully more than once. However... if it takes more than some mild tapping with a dead-blow hammer to get the bushings out? Then I use ponticat's method; except I use a big C-clamp instead. I already have those; don't feel the need to make a trip just to buy one wood clamp. I don't work with wood, anyway. It hates me, and shoots splinters at me every chance it gets...:whistle:
    MichiBass likes this.
  16. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    I would second keeping the bushing unless there is a good reason not to. Also in these days of rapid assembly the bushings can be installed before the neck finish is fully cured. If you suspect this you can stop after a click or so on the clamp and see if the finish is distorting. If score around it with a sharp blade like an exacto knife.
    Continuum and MichiBass like this.
  17. COJeepRenegade


    Jan 16, 2021
    Sorry to resurrect a zombie thread, but here we go...

    My dad passed in May, and I inherited a bass (Squier P.) he never learned to play. I'm learning with it, and making some modifications to make it my own, including blacking out all of the hardware. I just swapped out the tuners with these instructions and it was dead easy.

    To whomever created the instruction sheet, thank you. You made this a deas easy task for someone who has never tried something like it before.
    MichiBass and StevieMac like this.
  18. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Jul 30, 2021

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